Hi Everyone. I thought I would share with you from time to time photos that I have found that inspire me. I love how the artist Ekaterina Efremova captured these beautiful children. From the exquisite lighting, the way they are standing in the frame, to their adorable expressions; I love it all. If you want to be inspired by more of Ekatrina’s work you may find her on a site called 500px
Back in the day, before color film was invented artists would hand paint a black and white photo by painting on top of the photo with oil paints to simulate color. I have always loved this technique and learned to hand tint 28 years ago while I was at Memphis College of Arts. One of my all time favorites I have ever done was a life size photo of Hannah when she was 6 years old.
It Measures 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Makes quite the statement in the dining room. The paper these photos are printed on are archival to 200 years plus so they become treasured heirlooms. I have several portraits I have handtinted of my girls over the years and I never get tired of looking at them. Recently I finally got around to handtinting a portrait of my daughter Ashlee from when she was 12 years old. It was taken in the most beautiful place; the estate of John Deer. It is historical home called Vizcaya and if you ever get to Miami you should take a tour.
Here is a image of the painting in progress.
You can see how the color is transforming the image.The oils are transparent so everything you paint has a softer lighter tone than a real color photo has.It saddens me to know that this is becoming just another lost art in the world or technology.Today when a photographer handtints an image they just take a color photo and de-saturates it in photoshop. This takes about 10 seconds. My portraits take me hours to paint, but the effort is truly worth it. A true black and white photo that has been hand-painted has a real organic quality and depth to it. They are also a tangible part of me (as the artist) and my daughters that will be a living history for the generations to come.
The finished portrait.
This is where I long to be today. Who else is tired of all the cold and wet this winter? I took these on one of my trips to St. Martin. Larry keeps talking about moving there and with a winter like we have had this year, I have to say it seems very enticing.
I am always happy to support all the school fundraisers in our community as well as charity auctions but I want to do more. It is my belief that when you have been given so much in life, you give back. So, my husband Larry and I sat down and decided to become true givers of the charities we support. For every portrait that we sell this year we will give a portion of the profits to these charities:
For any family portrait we sell all donations will go to The Heifer Foundation. My whole family has loved this charity from the day we first learned about them. Please go and read about them here: http://www.heifer.org/
For any any portrait we sell of children all donations will go to The Ronald McDonald House. If you are not familiar with this wonderful charity you can read about them here: http://www.rmhc.org/
For any senior portraits we sell all donations will go to the Wren Haven House. This is a local organization who helps young people from 10 to 17 who are runaways and living on the streets get the help they need and a safe place to stay..
You can read about them here: http://www.havenhousenc.org/programs/wrenn-house
For any portrait sold with our 4 legged family members included all donations will go to Saving Grace. You can read about their good work here and while you at it maybe add a new member to your family . http://savinggracenc.org/
Please join us as we give thanks and give back.
This is one of my favorite things to make in the summer when the tomatoes from the garden and ripe and fresh! This tomato and corn scramble is really easy to make and is super delicious! It is fabulous as a side, or even on it’s own for a light lunch or snack. It would also be great to bring to your next summer barbecue, everyone just loves it! I have made this dish at different times of the year, but the best flavor you are going to get is from your peak summer corn and tomatoes. If you try any new recipe this summer, this is the one you should definitely go for. It’s so darn good!
8 Ears of Corn
4 Vine ripened fresh tomatoes
4-5 Green Onions
2TBSP Olive Oil
2TBSP White Balsamic Vinegar
3 TBSP Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
First slice all the kernels off of the corn cobs, chop up your green onions and tomatoes. In a large bowl mix vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, with a wire whisk, then add tomatoes to the bowl and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat, then add green onions and saute for a couple of minutes until they are tender. Then, add corn to your skillet. Saute corn until it’s just tender crisp, around 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Then add the corn mixture to the bowl of your tomato mixture. Serve at room temperature, which I prefer, or you can chill and serve it cold. It’s delicious either way! Summer in a bowl! Enjoy!
I just love this cool DIY from Better Homes and Gardens. I love the paper they used and I love how they made a collage of them on a wall. It’s even cooler that they covered the books too. BHG on Pinterest has a lot of cool pins and boards. Next time we have a party at the house I know what i’ll be making for decor. Maybe I’ll do one of these collages for christmas too. They’d be great going up a stairway! You can see this pin here, and check out my DIY Crafts board on Pinterest here.
Our gardens are one of my favorite things about our home here in Apex! I love to watch them grow and transform every year. And even though we complain about how much time and work goes into keeping things looking great, it’s beauty like this that makes it so worth the effort! This is one of my favorite spots in our garden, our picket fence, and my huge purple butterfly bush! In the spring and summer there are always an abundance of butterflies and dragonflies around this spot. It’s so lovely!
Happy Monday Everyone!